Reflection: 11th grade

One thing I loved about high school is how much it pushed me academically and how much I liked pushing myself further in terms of academics. I think one way the school pushed me was in presentations. I have learned how to prepare for them more eg. my English poetry oral presentation. I do not think I have worked that hard ever before in my life. What sucks was I messed up due to nerves and the whole thing went to waste. I liked how I constantly push myself in my favorite subject Physics. I love physics; I find it so difficult but still I am constantly blown away by the power anyone gets after they learn how to control, manipulate and predict phenomena. I love working on more difficult physics concepts myself outside of school just because I find it interesting and I just really want to be a good physicist.
Another thing was how I pushed myself to lead my group Coding for Good. That was scary for me as I do not think I am a natural leader but my passion for this group was seen very strong and so I was voted. I find myself doubting myself a lot thinking that I do not know something very well and someone else knows better, but in this situation, it was not the case. I knew the workings of the club and the service bureaucracy inside out and I was the one informing people, planning events, keeping everyone on task. Because I was so passionate and knew so much and put in always 100 and 10 percent I found it actually easy to be a leader and annoying when I was not in charge because I cared so much about the trajectory of this group and thought that since I understood the dynamics so well I should be the leader. It was rewarding as I was passionate about something that I could fight for it; this was a first for me.
The third was this very recent summer activity: leading an IFP conference in Timor Leste. It was great fun and pushed me completely and utterly out of my comfort zone. A year of planning culminated in a great and rewarding week, training a group of able and capable, fun-loving Timorese students on how to project peace in their neighborhoods. Truly life changing. I will be writing a reflection about this and how this was so amazing.

What am I most proud of?

Her Shakti. I put a lot of work into it. Coding for Good’s Hackathon. It was a success. I poured my soul into that, so happy it turned out amazing.
The work I put into my English Poetry Oral. My physics report. My English creative write-up that scored really well. My ToK presentation I did with a friend (super last minute – literally the night before till 4am and minutes before presenting (like, when we were connecting the plug to the presenter, we were adding more slides, and writing the conclusion slides)), but we scored top marks in both of his classes. My science notes from IGCSE.

(My Attempt of) Banning Plastic at Home: Change starts from within

“Bali officially bans all single-use plastic to curb ocean pollution” – New York Post

This reminds me slightly of Singapore. A small island setting an example for the rest of the world. Singapore, with its textbook economic policies that it trials on its citizens and other countries eagerly observe and critique. Bali has set an example by taking action with a policy to curb marine pollution, hoping to reduce waste added by 70% this year. With a population a million shy of Singapore’s, Bali decided to enforce this plastic ban for all corporations with a six month transition period for corporations to switch to a material that is no longer single use.

Single-use plastic is one of the biggest polluters, but what some of the opposition to this law said was that companies would switch to another cheap but just as unsustainable material, causing little net change, therefore. However, most countries have been swayed too much by politics to take such a strong step, maybe not effective, but still in the right direction as Bali has. There may be some underlying fallacies in the policy, but it is still admirable as it adds to the gravity of the situation. The longer we wait, as everyone has heard before, the more drastic our measures have to be.

I won’t delve too much into ocean pollution as I could go on and on about it, but the above article is a good read. I mention the article, because, in the article, an environmentalist mentions that plastic straws and grocery bags are not the biggest culprits for the embarrassing nature of our oceans, but more the corporations. Another study I read also said that plastic straws were not a big deal, taking up only around 2 to 3% of the total plastic waste. It was just spurred into the media because they found straws in a turtle and this drove up social media’s attention. I, after reading such an article, was one of those people. I found a pack of bamboo straws on Amazon and ordered two. I then went on a spiel to my half dozing family members that we must stop consuming and purchasing plastic straws.

I also made sure to make it a habit in my family to take recyclable grocery bags when out shopping and doing the groceries. Less plastic! Trying to implement these changes in my six people family was so difficult and tiring for me. Like Sisyphus, the amount of inertia among us, creatures of habit, is astounding and annoying. It makes me worried if we, as a global community, will be able to amend our ways.

When I was young I knew I wanted to work with marine life or for the seas.  That has changed now to something more in line with my favorite subjects. I hope that in the future I could use whatever skills I acquire in Data Science, or AI learning, or electrical engineering for this cause that I am so passionate about.

PSE Final Reflection

How are you going to make Grade 12 a successful, fulfilling experience for you? 

I think that I can take my learnings to achieve more stuff next year. I learned a lot in terms of organization and preparing for things in advance. I have heard that next year is very tough and people found being organized, meeting deadlines and staying on top of things is very tough. I want to know that the stories that I have heard are true. Next year is the last year of high school for all of us and I am not sure how to make this memorable for us. I think that next year I am no longer new to IB and upper high school so I will be more comfortable next year. I think that this being fulfilling for me will include me doing art because I love art. I hope that grade 12 will be successful and will not be a terrible experience. In terms of social skills, I want to have good friendship support that can get us through it.




Coding for Good Hackathon Reflection

We conducted a SWOT analysis with service and it was really useful. We learned a lot of things and have begun planning for next years hackathon. Growing from our learnings, we want to make it more professional and invite a larger audience. This will require a lot more planning and we should probably start planning soon. The biggest changes that I would want to make for next year is to construct a very organized schedule. This was also the plan for this years but since we were not really sure what we were doing we couldn’t fill it out and follow it very well. Moreover, I am most worried about who will continue this next year with the same passion. I will stay on and look over but I know I can not be as involved as I was this year.

I am linking it below


Coding for Good – SWOT + New members

In Coding for Good we did very little advertisement but were still able to  get 10 new members. They all seemed interested and something that Coding for Good is very happy about is its high retention rate. We guess that this is because people who sign up are very interested in engineering and design and find that this is what Coding for Good offers and so want to stay. Moreover, everyone in our club is very friendly and open. The way Mr. Kann runs it is kind of like an open environment where students are free to do what they want in groups and they can ask help and learn together.

We conducted a SWOT analysis which actually differs from our usual club sessions. This is because the schedule of club is very flowing and usually not structured. Differing from this, it was strange but it was nice to see how everyone came together and worked for the better of the service. I am linking the docs below.

Creativity: Book review

I have taken up reading again and I decided that since I have opinions on the books I read I might as well put them somewhere. After reading Great Gatsby in SL Lang Lit with Mr. Sweeting, I was recommended Hemmingway. I had asked a friend for recommendations and I told him that I had just recently finished Gatsby and I enjoyed it a lot, and also finished Steinbeck’s’ Of Mice and Men and really really enjoyed that. I said that I enjoyed their style of writing and evoking empathy with such a nuanced and subtle voice that is riddled with deeper meaning and analysis. So, I was recommended Hemmingway. I could not find the Old Man and the Sea in the library at my first attempt but I needed something to read so I picked up The Sun Also Rises. I have just recently finished it and, nothing surprising, also enjoyed it. I think because I picked it up for a light read, while I was reading it I could not pick up on the nuances and deeper meanings and so a lot of pivotal moments passed by me unnoticed. This is of course because of Hemingway’s writing style, called the Iceberg effect I think. This book was so good it made me read the whole SparkNotes of it and it wasn’t even assigned.  After reading further literary reviews and papers, I found greater respect for the character of Brett and the author. Moreover, I have been used to reading older books (before this I had read Dickens and some old Japanese book), and so when researching online and finding that Hemmingway’s original manuscripts and notes were still intact and could be analyzed was fascinating to me. I also enjoyed the literary relationship Hemmingway had with Fitzgerald. While I was reading the Sun Also Rises, I also made connections to all the context and analysis we did in English class for Gatsby. I enjoyed this since after my IOC I was quite disappointed. Not only with my performance, but that I had prepared so much for getting Fitzgerald that once I was done I was not sure what to do with all my knowledge. Who was I to share how Gatsby was a figure of the American Dream and the graffiti on his steps at the end of the book draws reminiscent of America’s foundation of criminal activity and that the greatness of Gatsby was as figurative and hyperbolic as the same adjective being used to describe its muse?

Badminton Initial Reflection

Learning a new sport is really fun and I enjoy it. However, there are also many things that I found difficult. The motions are a bit difficult and since I have just started playing I am not that comfortable in those stances. Moreover, during rally’s your neck needs to be craned high for long periods of time. I am not used to this and so I will have to work on this. Moreover, I am not that used to move around the court. I have never been used to playing on courts as throughout my childhood I am more used to spatial awareness in fields. I was actually quite good at my spatial awareness on a field. I was good at it because I played football and my position became central defense for most of my childhood. I really enjoyed playing football and I try and play it whenever I can nowadays since I don’t want to lose contact with the sport. It is just so much fun to play and I am really thankful that I was part of a competitive team from young as this has helped me develop a fighting and competitive spirit. It has also helped me become a team player as I had to always be aware of where I am relative to the ball and also where my team players are.

In badminton, it is just me on one court. This huge difference has been a struggle for me to adapt to but I am enjoying the challenge. My calves aren’t as worn out as they would have been if I had taken up football this year, that’s for sure. Badminton, on the other hand, strains my biceps and core more. Badminton players must be very deft and agile to move around the court quickly. One of the largest differences I have found that has been the biggest struggle in my transition to Badminton is the time length. In football, I am used to playing for the long term – starting out slow, then a very intense play before break and intense to slow again. My brain has been trained to endure long sessions of playing and as a defensive player, I was never trained on having to score. As I got older, I started playing some more central, and I played attack once or twice in games just before I left the sport. It is a very different mindset and I enjoy both. In badminton, the games are much shorter, lasting 2 or 3 minutes. I was not aware of this. I have had to change how I play and think about competitive games because of this.